Getting to the Roots: The Origins of Four Essential Oils for the Hair

Argan Oil 
Argan Oil is one the latest natural oils on the market. The past couple of years the hair industry has been using the oil in various products or even selling the oil as a stand-alone oil product for the hair. It is also known as Moroccan oil.
Argan oil originates from an uncultivated Argan tree which produces a fruit which has an almond kernel (seed) which is then extracted to produce the oil. The Argan tree is only found in the southwestern region of Morocco in Africa. The tree is grown in a harsh climate under severe drought conditions. The tree does not produce fruit until nearly 30 to 50 years of age. It is also limited by the number of trees in the Argan forest. Argan oil is currently in high demand which explains why the market value has increased over the past few years. There is also no difference between the light or dark colored Argan oil which does not affect the quality of the oil.
Almond Oil

“The Almond Tree originated from Western Asia and Northern Africa. It belongs to the same tree family as the cherry, plum, peach, and apricot. The almond tree looks similar to a peach or apricot. However, instead of a sweet flesh and sour kernel, the almond has a sour flesh and a sweet kernel. Though in the same family of these other fruits, an Almond is considered a nut tree.” Almond oil softens the hair and provides additional sheen. It absorbs easily into the scalp without clogging pores. It is an agent used to produce hair growth. It is also great for the face and skin.
Olive Oil
“The origin of the olive is based in the Mediterranean Basin region over 8000 years ago. It is one of the most important oil-producing plants in the world.
In the Mediterranean Basin, olives have traditionally been grown on the poorest soils while richer soil was reserved for fruits, vegetables and grains. “These trees withstand salty winds, searing sun and porous, sandy soil, thriving gloriously and producing fruit.”

Since the olive tree originated in a region of little rainfall, many assume that the olive tree does not thrive in other regions. However, regions such as Spain, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, China and India produce olive oil which is known for the healthiest food oil in the world. In the U. S., there are even oil-producing olive groves in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. There is three types of olive oil:  Pressedvirgin and extra virgin olive oil.

Olive branches was often symbolic in “Ancient Greek where they crowned the victors of Olympic games with wreaths of olive branches. The Romans used them in lustral rites. In the Hebrew and Christian religions, the olive branch has always symbolized peace and unity. There are also many references to the olive in the Koran.”

Olive oil has become very popular over the years in the study of promoting healthy hair. It is found in almost every hair product on the shelves.
Shea Butter
The shea tree grows uncultivated in nineteen countries across the African continent. It produces nuts which is used to grind into Shea butter. “It can take 40 to 50 years before it matures and is able to produce the nuts needed to make Shea butter (also known as peanut butter in Africa).  This “butter” has many uses and comes in two forms: Refined and Certified Organic Unrefined. 

“The refined version has been extracted with hexane, a toxic petrochemical and also has been severely overheated, which removes many of the powerful healing factors. The Certified Organic – Unrefined version, however, has been traditionally extracted and maintains its healing components to treat and heal various skin conditions. Throughout Africa, it is used extensively for food and medicinal purposes.”

“Shea nuts contain the B vitamins and a sugar level of about 3 to 6 percent which is equally distributed among glucose, fructose and sucrose. It is comparable to the raspberry.”

“All parts of the shea nut tree are of great value. Shea butter serves as a moisturizer and is naturally rich in vitamin A, E and F in addition to some other vitamins. It is thus able to sooth, balance and hydrate the skin. It also contains collagen which reduces wrinkles and other signs of aging while the essential fatty acids contained in vitamin F help to revitalize and protect damaged hair and skin. It thus promotes skin renewal, increases circulation and speeds up the healing of wounds.”  

In some communities, the leaves are used as medicine. In Ghana, a decoction of young leaves is used as a vapor bath for the treatment of headaches and also as an eye bath.  When the leaves are put in water, it forms a frothy opalescent liquid, which is used to bath the head of the patient. A leaf decoction is also used as an eye bath. Because the leaves contain “saponin”, they lather in water and are suitable for washing. The leaves of the shea nut tree are also used as a preservative.”
“In Nigeria, the roots of the shea nut tree are used as chewing sticks. The roots and the root bark are sometimes ground into a paste and taken orally as a cure for jaundice in Ghana as well as the treatment of diarrhea and stomach aches. The bark of the shea nut tree is boiled and can be taken as a beverage which is claimed that it may possibly treat diabetes.”
Photo Source:  A Toast 2 Wealth

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